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3.18-TODAY (Jefferson Airplane)

Marty Balin
Marty Balin

LISTEN

Today
I feel like pleasing you
More than before.
Today
I know what I want to do
But I don't know what for.

         To be living for you
         Is all I want to do.
         To be loving you--
         It'll all be there when my dreams come true.

Today
You'll make me say that I
Somehow have changed.
Today
You'll look into my eyes
I'm just not the same.

         To be anymore
         Than all I am would be a lie.
         I'm so full of love
         I could burst apart and start to cry.

Today
Everything you want, I swear
It all will come true.
Today
I realize how much
I'm in love with you.

         With you standing here
         I could tell the world what it means to love.
         To go on from here I can't use words;
         They don't say enough.

                   Please, please listen to me:
                   It's taken so long to come true
                   And it's all for you
                   All for you.


Today could easily be interpreted a straight ahead love song; if there’s any reference to a hallucinatory drug, it is buried between the lines behind the second person “you”. Perhaps the fervor expressed here is for an the facilitator of an overwhelming experience and the subject matter is something similar to the Rolling Stones’ Something Happened To Me Yesterday, but it is far less explicit. My claim that Today is a part of the psychedelic music canon perhaps rests on that possibility, and the fact that it received the blessing of the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, who plays a repetitive lead guitar in the A sections.

The instrumental portion of Today sounds very much like folk music, except to note that part of its mystique (particularly back in the day) was that the song was recorded with a lot of “space”, perhaps thanks to engineer David Hassinger and the way the drums are mixed. This was a rarity in pop recordings at the time, when “space” was most often created by re-verb, a method that is not used here. The sparse instrumentation seems to take place in a large area with a lot of breathing room. The quiet unassuming tone of Today might have been one of the reasons it was not considered to be worthy of Top 40 radio play despite its accessible lyrics and pretty melody Whatever the reason for witholding the song from the radio, Today is one of the most frequently played songs by the Airplane according to computer requests nearly fifty years later.

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